After pouring through our designs and purchasing a customized gemstone ring or cufflink set online, your handcrafted piece finally arrives in the mail and you watch it sparkle and shine as you carefully put it on. Soon after, you begin to wonder if your beautiful piece will always be this shiny and research what you should do to keep it in the best condition possible. To get you off to a strong start, we have prepared this simple guide about how to care for your jewelry and outline the process for cleaning gemstone jewelry at home. With the right care, you really can continue to enjoy each gemstone’s fire and brilliance long into the future.
Know When to Wear Your Jewelry… and When to Remove It
A special piece of gemstone jewelry, such as an engagement ring or wedding ring, carries great significance and you may be tempted to wear it all the time—even while swimming, changing a flat tire, or bathing the dog. Unfortunately, gemstones and precious metals can become scratched, discolored, or damaged when exposed to extreme heat and changing temperatures, acids, alcohols, other chemicals, and abrasive materials. Therefore, an important part of knowing how to care for your jewelry involves deciding when to put your special ring on… and knowing when to take it off.
Extreme Heat and Changing Temperatures
As temperature is one of the treatments commonly used to change or intensify a gemstone’s color, it’s important to avoid exposing your gemstone jewelry to high temperatures or sudden temperature changes. In practice, this means cleaning gemstone jewelry in lukewarm water (not hot) and rinsing it in water of the same temperature.
Acids and Alcohols
When thinking about how to care for your jewelry, this is the one that people often overlook. Bleach, chlorine, detergent, and even salt water can reduce the brilliance of gems and cause permanent damage to gemstones and gold alloys—so it’s best practice to remove your jewelry when:
- Showering or bathing
- Washing the dishes
- Using household and industrial cleaners, paints, and solvents
- Swimming in chlorinated or salt water
- Applying makeup, perfume, cologne, body lotions, hair spray, and spray-on deodorant
- Engaging in high-intensity exercise (to avoid mixing your jewelry with perspiration)
A good rule of thumb when putting on your gemstone jewelry is “last in, first out.” It’s also wise to handle each piece by the band or chain rather than touching the actual gemstones themselves.
- Cleaning gemstone jewelry or household items with steel wool or scouring sponges
- Performing household maintenance or auto repairs
- Working with clawed animals
By removing your jewelry in these situations, you will be helping it to stay beautiful and smooth and avoid creating unsightly scratches and dents.
How to Care for Your Jewelry: Safe Storage Practices
The way you store your gemstone rings and cufflinks when you aren’t wearing them is just as important as remembering to take them off in the first place. While it can be tempting, one should never leave a piece of fine jewelry on top of a dresser or toss it into a drawer. For safe storage, we recommend keeping your custom jewelry in any of the following places:
- An individual 100% cotton or natural-fiber cloth (not synthetic)
- The ring slot of a compartmentalized jewelry box
- The small box provided with your custom piece
How to Care for Your Jewelry: Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry
No matter which metal or gemstones you have selected for your handcrafted ring or cufflink set, you will need to have your jewelry serviced every six months to avoid the gemstones becoming loose and falling out over time. Typically, this process involves a deep clean as well—and the professional who is servicing your jewelry will know exactly which cleaning method to use for the specific gems and metals involved.
If you are wondering how to care for your jewelry by cleaning it at home (which we recommend doing every few weeks), follow these simple steps to prevent damage or scratches to your ring:
- Submerge the jewelry pieces in a container of lukewarm water with mild dish soap and allow to soak for at least 5 minutes.
- Clean in and around each gemstone thoroughly with a soft brush (not a regular toothbrush). A new, unused makeup brush is ideal for this task.
- Use a toothpick or shaved matchstick to carefully pick out any accumulated deposits in the cracks of your jewelry.
- Rinse the pieces of jewelry in a container of lukewarm, distilled water.
- Polish the pieces with a lint-free cotton cloth and leave them to air-dry completely at room temperature before putting them back on.
- For large gemstones, immerse them in a container of dry chips of maple wood to dry rather than leaving them on the cloth. This will prevent water stains from forming on the gemstones and metal.
Important Information About How to Care for Your Jewelry
When cleaning gemstone jewelry, it is vital that you complete the rinsing stage in a container and not over the sink. If any gemstones fall out, you will want to be able to recover them so that they can be set in the ring again and not lost forever!
It is also essential that you avoid the use of ultrasonic devices, steam, and solvents when cleaning your pieces at home, as these may cause irreparable damage to your jewelry.
How to Care for Your Jewelry: Gemstone-Specific Information
Due to their hardness rating, particular treatments, and inclusions, each gemstone has slightly different needs as far as maintenance goes. For best results, refer to the specific care and maintenance guide for your gemstone when cleaning fine jewelry at home:
- Black onyx
- Blue sapphire
- Pink tourmaline
- Swiss blue topaz
Keep Your Jewelry in Impeccable Condition with AZEERA
At AZEERA, we want you to be able to enjoy your handcrafted jewelry for a long time into the future. To help you keep your jewelry in top condition, we offer a free lifetime warranty on each of our rings and cufflink sets as well as providing information about how to care for your jewelry and tips for cleaning gemstone jewelry at home. Upon booking with us, we will clean and service your piece at no cost to you when you ship it to our office with fully-insured return shipping (this costs around $40 each way).
Please contact us if you still have questions about how to care for your jewelry or to book routine maintenance and repairs for your piece. With the proper care, your AZEERA jewelry should sparkle for generations!